Shadow of Mordor went through a turbulent journey en route to its September 30, 2014 release. When it was first announced and Monolith shared off some gameplay action, many gamers and industry luminaries chided it for being an Assassin’s Creed ripoff, or as just another licensed movie game (visuals and characters reflect Jackson’s films) that would ultimately disappoint its pop culture fan base. Considering that the concept of the game was to create a whole new story revolving around a character that Tolkien never envisioned, it wasn’t out of the norm for gamers to be hesitant about the merits of Shadow of Mordor. Many thought it would be another cash grab for the Tolkien license holders, while others wrote it off as an unoriginal clone of a baby between Assassin’s Creed and the Batman Arkham games. While comparing its gameplay and mechanics to those franchises is a legit critique, Shadow of Mordor is far from being another cheap ploy to prey on the wallets of Tolkien super fans thanks to its high-level of polish, interesting world and characters, and unique gameplay mechanics.